Cold Water Warm Air

To assure that the public is adequately protected from injury or the spread of disease when using or occupying swimming pools and beaches.

Eric Khambatta, R.S.
Environmental Health Specialist III
On-Site Sewage / Water Rec Facilities/ Water Lab

Rob King
Environmental Health Specialist II
Food Program / Schools / Beach Program/Solid Waste

The Water Recreation Program protects public health by working with owners and operators of public and semi-public water recreation facilities to prevent drowning, illnesses and injuries. Approximately 65 facilities in Grays Harbor County are permitted and inspected at least annually for compliance with state regulations. Water Recreational places include but are not limited to city funded pools, apartment, condominiums or home owners associations, hotel/motels, camp sites, or schools. This includes all places used by the public. Swimming pools or spas at a single private residence are excluded from being permitted but should still exercise the same safety standards as everyone else.

The Water Recreation Program provides additional services, such as pre-occupancy inspections of new or modified facilities, response to public health or safety concerns regarding permitted facilities, and water safety consultations for pool owners and operators.

Public water recreation facilities are licensed to meet state standards and are inspected by an Environmental Health Specialist.

Services Available

  • Plan reviews are conducted by Washington State Department of Health for new construction or remodels of existing facilities. If you need a plan review please contact Department of Health
  • An Environmental Health Specialist investigates all complaints and illnesses related to pools and spas.
  • Pool equipment is checked frequently to ensure safety for the public.
  • Chemical testing is used to evaluate water quality during inspections.
  • Water monitoring and record keeping is reviewed, and facility maintenance is checked for safety and cleanliness.
  • Educational materials are provided with the latest rules and safety materials.
  • Compliance and enforcement is scheduled and monitored if necessary.

Fatal drowning remains the second-leading cause of unintentional injury-related death for children ages 1 to 14 years (CDC 2005). Although some drowning cases occur at home, keeping public pools and spas safe for everyone to use is important. Things like water clarity, pool access and barriers and safety equipment that are up to code are all things that keep pools and spas a safe and fun activity.

Water Recreation - Permits
For complete information regarding permit renewal, opening a new establishment, change of ownership, or remodeling/changing an existing establishment, contact us at 360-249-4222

Obtaining a Permit
Any person wishing to operate a water recreation facility in Grays Harbor County must obtain a permit to operate issued by the Division of Environmental Health. For change of ownership of an existing establishment, applications must be submitted far enough in advance to allow adequate time for processing and approval prior to the ownership change. Permit processing time may vary according to the type of facility and if any changes are proposed.

Permits are categorized as:
Limited Use: any swimming, spa, wading, or spray pool at an apartment, bed and breakfast, boarding home, condominium, fraternity, home owners association, hotel, mobile home park, motel, recreational vehicle park, sorority or rental housing unit for the use of the persons living or residing at the facility and their resident's invited guests. The living facility must have at least 15 living units.

General Use: any swimming, spa, wading, or spray pool not associated with a living facility that is open to the public or to persons with memberships (i.e. health clubs).

Changes of Ownership
All ownership changes must apply for a permit to operate at the full permit fee. In addition to these fees, there is a penalty fee if you operate without a valid permit.

In addition, we must consider whether or not the establishment has been issued any variances (waivers). Since variances cannot be transferred between owners, you will have to reapply for each variance. If a variance is complex and/or requires that we reevaluate the proposal, a variance processing fee will be charged.